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AutoFOCUS Profile: Q is for QUALITY


Let’s talk about full size luxury SUV's.

You’re looking at the grill of the Here is the stylish QX56 - which reminds me of a rolling living room. Lookout Escalade lovers, this pretty baby is trying to get your attention. While the design alone will get plenty of heads turning, it is the performance. The drive is strong scary luxurious I mean really slow and comforting. It's important that you remember to actually drive the vehicle instead of just enjoying garage. On the performance side, it’s packed with a 5.6 liter V8 engine producing 400 horsepower and 413 pounds-ft. of torque. The all-wheel drive, 7-speed automatic transmission sports a high-tech adaptive shift control that you can feel as you hit the gas. You and I both know that if you drive a big vehicle and hit the gas, you usually get a lumbering, strained motion but not here. That V8 kicks butt and the QX56 sits on 20-inch 7-spoke aluminum alloy wheels that ride as sweet as anything on the road.

      Inside luxury is abundant with leather appointed seats, that sit like easy chairs and lots of storage space in the doors, on the console, and in the glove box.  Xenon headlights, tri-zone automatic climate control, a top-view camera system, 13-speaker Bose audio system.

The dash is elegant as well. The screen and controls are easy to navigate with buttons and touch commands in the right places. The thick leather steering wheel contains an easy to operate set of command buttons and adjusts via a smooth power tilt control.

Seating for seven is another attribute of the QX56 and I have to mention the 60/40 split-folding second row seats making it easier for passengers to get in and out of the back and that's a relief. Getting into that third row can be a pain in the butt and the neck.

On the safety side the advanced airbag system includes driver and front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental airbags, roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental airbags for all three rows with rollover sensors. There are also various high tech monitoring systems that help the driver maintain control stability and functionality in case of an emergency (and in the case of sudden stopping or avoiding a collision).

This is a big vehicle with a big engine which means it has a big appetite for gasoline. With a combined 16 mpg. one can expect 14 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway. Owners can expect to spend about $3550 annually on gas.

Expect a sticker price of $78,148 for the 2013 QX 56 4 wheel drive version; quite impressive both in size, style, performance, luxury and power.  Competitors in the full size luxury SUV category include Toyota Land Cruiser, Range Rover Sport, Mercedes Benz GL Class, Audi Q7, Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, and the GMC Yukon Denali

 If you have any questions, comments or comparisons, let me know. Enjoy the drive but don't text and drive. 



Tony C. Lesesne

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